The Girl in the Tower – the MUST Read this year!

Bildergebnis für girl in tower ardenThe Girl in the Tower is the second installment of Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy and this trilogy has ALL the feels guys!

I loved this book from start to finish. Sometimes, I really wasn’t sure who the girl in the tower was supposed to be, but overall, the story was phenomenal. As always Arden sucks you into her medieval world with vivid imagery and ghosts and fairy tales that will make you shudder and crave for more. I had so much fun reading this one, that I can’t wait for the third part of the trilogy to be published.
I truly recommend this series to everyone who loves fairy tales, strong female characters and fantastic scenery with a historic touch.

Katherine Arden has studied Russian and it really shows how familiar she is with the time and places she writes about in her books. It is a pleasure to read fantasy that has a touch of real history in it. As I’ve studied Russian at high school, I had no problems following some of the vocabulary. But even if you don’t know any slavic languages, the extensive glossary explains more words than I even though necessary.

The writing style was vivid and moved the story forward in a really nice manner. Even though this is a plot-driven book, none of the characters come short in my opinion. Though I would have liked to read even more about them at some point as I’m usually more interested in character than plot. Either way, the characters are so relatable and well-written that I’ve already fallen in love irrevocably with some of them *cough Morozko cough*. If you should ever find yourself wanting hot chocolate, don’t waste your time and chocolate on TV. Read The Girl in the Tower and your drink will be the best you ever had.

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Jade City by Fonda Lee | Review

Bildergebnis für jady city fonda leeJade City is the beginning of an interesting and ambitious trilogy. The first book, Jade City, was released three days ago and I want to make sure all of you get your hands on this wonderfully inspiring, interesting and compelling first book.
I have to be honest with you guys, I have not been reading as much as I used to, and of the books I read I rarely felt this spark of excitement, empathy, and commitment towards the characters in the book as I did here. That’s why I took the time to actually sit down and write a review.

Jade City is the kind of book that presents you with charismatic characters you wish you could meet in real life, a wondrously magical setting that keeps you on your toes . The story keeps you interested in what happened before the actual story begins. It is a complex world in which the reader quickly notices that there is so much more you don’t know, yet not plot-wise, but when looking at the world this story takes place.
We only get a glimpse of what is happening and so, everything was a mystery ( in a positive way) and many things have been left unanswered after the first book, but I’m anxious and impatient for the next book to be released. But let’s hear a bit from Fonda Lee herself:

“I started envisioning a society where magical jade granted special abilities to warriors with the proper training and bloodline, and the idea merged with my longstanding enthusiasm for mafia stories to become this modern gangster family saga. It’s the most intense, ambitious thing I’ve ever written, and there’s more to come.”

This story is so rich on characters, their development, cultural information and world- building that I would recommend it to anyone who likes a complex world without having to read a thousand pages. Lee makes all this possible in her newest story and I can honestly say that even though I have already read Jade City, I will definitely buy the book. The only thing that I really didn’t like about the book is that it is not available as hardcover in Europe. I mean, it is but has to be shipped here and so it is extremely expensive and not good for our environment.

Nyxia by Scott Reingten | Review

Bildergebnis für nyxia bookBowBowBowBowBow 5/5 Ribbons

Nyxia by Scott Reingten was such a wonderful, inspiring and interesting read. I have never read anything of the like before. Nyxia is not only a story of friendship, hardship and corruption, it is also a story that shows how people grow and succumb to their situation and how some will not give up who they are no matter the price. I literally devoured this book.

Not only the world was intriguing. It was this mix of sci-fi-ish elements combined with the competition that creates a deadly situation in which even the victors are damned in a way.

“Emmet Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to planet Eden- a planet that Babel has kept hidden- where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has the quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.”

 

The struggle in this book was so real and captivating, I felt like I was the one fighting for my life, my future and my sanity.  Babel Corp. doesn’t play games and who isn’t partaking will forfeit their chance of not only winning, but securing a chance of happiness for their whole family.  There isn’t much world-building as the whole story takes place in a space ship. But the characters are three-dimensional, emotional, torn and desperate. This book tells the story of friendship, humanity and the will to survive. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something refreshingly new and mysterious that has the potential to be on your top five list 2017.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller | Review

Screenshot_2017-04-07-13-05-54...BowBowBowBow4/5 Ribbons for this witty debut novel

Daughter of the Pirate King is the debut novel of Tricia Levenseller. I can’t say that this story really sucked me into its world immediately because the start was a little bumpy but apart from that, the story really flowed well and the main character, the daughter of a fearless pirate king who rules most of the sea, really captured my heart. She is funny and witty and plays her part of a secret intelligence agent really well. She kind of reminded me a little of James Bond because she does get a lot of attention from the other sex and she know how to use that to her advantage.

I really liked that ‘feministic’side of her, too, though I do think she kind of lost her head a little when a hot and smart pirate comes her way. Either way, I was captured by the intriguing and ( at least for me ) unique way in which the story was told and I literally finished this one in one go! I just couldn’t put it down once I was part of the story and I had all the names down 😀

The only thing that bugged me a little was that for me personally, the romance part seemed a little forced and I could see why it was part of the storyline but I think it would have worked just fine with a little less romance.I also thought that even though the story was well written and the world that was described was described very well, I though that the characters did come a little short. They could have been a little more fleshed out. I don’t say I didn’t understand some of their actions or thoughts because they were plausible. I just tend to like characters more than the plot and so I can’t be really satisfied if the characters seem to flat for me.

There was an unexpected twist at the end that really turned the story around and I think that Daughter of the Pirate King is a well-written and fantastic debut novel. If you’re searching for a light read ( no gore 😉 ) that is easy-to-read and funny, with witty and smart characters that try to get the best of one another. Then follow them on a mission that will keep everyone on their toes and read this book 😀

Hunted by Meagan Spooner | Review

20170503_155135...-BowBowBowBowBow 5/5  Ribbons for this beautiful retelling of the special sort! I have already read A Tale as Old as Time, which was also a retelling from The Beauty of the Beast and I really loved that one and at first, I wasn’t really sure what to think of Hunted, because I didn’t know if it would be weird to read another retelling but as I started reading, the book really hooked me fast. The main character, Beauty, is a huntress through and through. She is forced to be part of the high society until her father loses his money on a failed drip to foreign lands. They lose everything but at least, they have the old hut in the woods her father and her used to sleep in when they went on hunting trips. Beauty has two other sisters, like in the original fairy tale.

This is actually why I liked the story so much! I really didn’t know that the original story was a little more gory that the Disney fairy tale so I was positively surprised, especially that Beauty had two sisters! I really loved their interactions and the strong family bond they had. SO as far as my knowledge goes, the plot was rather original for a retelling with some twists I definitely didn’t see coming.

The characters were deep and intriguing, funny and strong and the world is lush and colorful and full of magical creatures and old spells. It is a world of wonder and I am so glad to be finally able to share the review of this awesome book with you.

 

 

 

 

My experience: Opening up my own Business

rahmenToday I want to tell you what happened to Magic Chest. For those who didn’t know, this year in January, I started my own book subscription business 😀 I did it because I wanted to give European people the opportunity to get fantasy book boxes from their own region and make it more affordable for people to subscribe to a box. Usually, a box costs about 50€ ( about 56Dollars) with the shipping from the US and I knew many bloggers and friends who just couldn’t afford that. So I thought, Why don’t I change that?

That’S how Magic Chest was born. Since then, much has happened but today, I want to tell you a little bit about what changed for me personally since I started my own business. I want to give you some insight in how it is to start a business and also share my experience with you 🙂

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Bye bye free time. Well, the obvious thing is that until recently, you haven’t seen me around much because between my part-time job, my own business and uni, I didn’t have any time for anything. Especially in the first two months or so, I was really engrossed in and preoccupied with all the legal stuff I needed to remember, include, write and tell different departments. I also created my own logo and tried to come up with a decent and affordable marketing plan.

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Reading and researching basically became my job. As a blogger, reading ARCs is fun, even if it is stressful at times. It is something I really don’t want to miss, that’s why I started to dedicate more time to it again. When reading becomes your job though, you do look at books differently: will my customers like this book? Why? How expensive is the hardcover edition? Is the language easy to understand for people who don’t have an advanced knowledge of English? Is it a good book to create a theme based upon the content? There are many more things to consider than simply ‘Did I enjoy reading the book’ and in some way, I learned that the hard way. I might tell you more of that at some other point 😉

20170610_185035...Interacting, posting, photos and videos and What is a Hashtag?## When I first started out, I literally had to learn everything about social media, Newsletter Marketing, Tweets, Hashtags and how important interaction actually is. Of course I knew about Hashtags but there can be a BIG difference in your audience, depending on which ones you use. Also, I learned how to make high-quality pictures of my product and how to reach out to others to do the same. I am generally a really shy person so this was a huge deal for me in the beginning. You really wouldn’t believe how much time and effort it takes to create beautiful pictures and thoughtful content! 😀

Skill honing: I can plan ahead even better than before. I am in this ‘business’ now for about six months and even though I could organize my studies and work pretty decently before, I can do so even better now. The simple reason for that time has become something that is easily ‘sold out# so to speak. But I have a private life, friends, family, my boyfriend and sports and I want to keep a balance between work and my private life. In the beginning I utterly failed to do anything else than work (understandably, as I literally didn’t know anything about sh*t) but now it has become much easier to let work go even if I have a new idea or some info I desperately want to share right now. I plan months ahead. Not only the books, monthly themes and items, but also marketing strategies and my own social media posts are planned ahead so I can make sure I never forget anything, like important holidays. Which brings  me to my next point.

20170201_225746-mcBe patient! What I really learned, and needed to learn(!), was to be more patient. I am a really impulsive person, best example: I thought about opening up a business and the next day, I just did it 😀 I am just like that and privately, I think it is actually a great thing to be energetic and spontaneous ( but not before thinking things through at least a little bit 😉 ) BUT for a business, this can be a TOTAl killer! So I really needed to plan ahead instead of jumping straight to some new idea or spilling all the important stuff right at the beginning. Especially when it all started out, I think I acted a little too fast sometimes. Gladly, there were no  bad consequences that I could actually track down but I know I could have done better.

Be tough! In the beginning, I really only created Magic Chest so people could have better access to the book boxes they so desired but after spending over a thousand Euros, which is a lot for a student, I realized that I had to calculate better instead of ONLY trying to appease people and make their unboxing experience great. Now, I have learned to create a great product for my customers but also to  look after myself and my budget. And so, in the last two months I have actually made my first money with the boxes ❤ ❤

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What I can honestly say is that it was and is tough with my studies, a job and my own business, but at the end of each day, no matter if I am extremely tired of relaxed all day, I know that I did the right thing and I would do it again and again and again. I am actually thinking of creating another small business when the time is right 😉

Please let me know what you thought about this post and if you’d like to know more about me and my experiences as a business owner;)

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Blackwing (Raven’s Mark #1) by Ed McDonald | Review

Blackwing (Ravens' Mark #1)BowBowBowBowBow 5/5 Ribbons for this awesome & dark fantasy book!

Blackwing is a job not everybody is allowed to do- not everybody can manage. The Nameless choose them for different reasons. Why Crowfoot chose Galharrow, he doesn’t know himself. The Nameless have been fighting the Deep Kings for millenia and humans are just like bugs under their feet at worst, a means to fight each other at the best of times.

Once he had been something, someone else but now, he is Blackwing and when he is not, he rides through the war-born wasteland that is the Range. Magic seeps though its air and creeps into your skin, blinds you, deceives you, makes you sick. The creatures that live there are born of hate and the darkest magic imaginable. Galharrow is hunting in the Rage…

This book is gory, dark, critical and wonderful and it had me hooked from page one guys! In recent weeks, I haven’t had time to read a lot of books but this one was just so awesome, I just had to read it through within a week which is the equivalent of my usually 24 hours 😀

There is a major conspiracy in the book and I really don’t want to tell you more about the plot- which was awesome. it had the gore, it had the social criticism, it had the setting, the world and even some very fitting romance and self-reflection. What stood out for me above all was the amazing main character. That’s why i can really recommend this book to everybody who wants to try out something new.

I loved and hated Galharrow and it was amazing to unravel the mysteries that surround the biggest secret the Nameless have. I really urge you to all go and read this wonderful and gripping start of a new fantasy series that I’m sure will blow your mind! I am usually a little bit stingy,m but I WILL buy this one in August ❤

 

Klara, over and out 😉

 

I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.